Past Travel Adventures

Dreaming of returning to one of the most fascinating cities in the world

Paris at the top of the travel list

At the Beverly Hills Hotel, Everyone is a Movie Star

Iconic Wallpaper at BHH

Iconic Wallpaper at BHH


Home: Beverly Hills Hotel

Home: Beverly Hills Hotel


Hard not to love the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Pink Palace never fails to please. Part of Dorchester Collection, the iconic hotel is better than ever. Undergoing selective renovation- of which I never saw or heard evidence, the hotel has kept the 1912 original decor but added all the 2019 conveniences. Staff is happy and welcome is warm. Beautifully led by GM Edward Mady, the hotel spins like a top. Can’t wait to return!
BHH Lobby

BHH Lobby

Hotel Hassler- Updated Glamour

Typical Coffee Service -Hotel Hassler


Dispatch from Rome: lovely experience with the Hassler Hotel. Established in 1939 by Oscar Wirth, guests feel the family atmosphere and service immediately when entering the lobby. There is a sense of pride and sincere welcome from the doorman to the desk. I had the privilege of meeting the present President and Managing Director, Roberto Wirth and his son, Roberto who is the heir apparent. Many staff have been there for as long as 30 years. Service is impeccable refreshed decor is bright, contemporary and luxurious. The location, at the top of the Spanish Steps is perfect. The Hassler added a small group of rooms hidden beside the Spanish Steps – Il Palazzetto – in 1999. Roberto acquired Il Palazzetto with the intention of expanding the brand name of the historical hotel located two steps away at Piazza Trinita dei Monti. He wanted to unite his hospitality skills with his love for good wine, and established Il Palazzetto.
Il Palazzetto includes the Wine Bar on its two panoramic terraces overlooking the Spanish Steps, four boutique hotel rooms and a special location for memorable private events.

Public Room Il Palazzetto – Hassler

View from my bath Hassler Hotel

Brenner’s Park Hotel, Baden Baden


Brenner’s Park Hotel Baden Baden. Ultimate 5 Star classical hotel in the Mineral Spring Spa city- Baden Baden. Spectacular amenities. Incredible warm welcome and impeccable service. A place for relaxation and wellness.

Iconic Hot Springs Destination, Baden Baden is in Full Bloom

Iconic Baden Baden in full bloom

An ancient Roman Town, known for it’s healing mineral springs, Baden Baden never fails to entice. I went in college and it is still the same beautiful town. Revisiting Oetker Collection’s Brenner Park Hotel is a complete pleasure. More to come.

Dream Destination for Art Lovers -Benesse House, Naoshima

Benesse House – Park


Benesse House was a hotel/ museum concept, started in 1992.
Based on the concept of “coexistence of nature, art and architecture.” Designed by Tadao Ando, the facility is built on high ground overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and features large large glass expanses that serve to open up the interior to the natural surroundings. In addition to exhibiting the painting, sculpture, photography, and installations in its collection, the Museum also contains permanent site-specific installations that artists have created especially for the building, selecting locations on their own and designing the works for those spaces. The hotels consist of Park- 47 rooms, Beach – 8 suites, Oval 6 rooms and 2 suites and the museum hotel- 8 rooms. Among the artists featured are Claude Monet- Water Lilies, Jean Michel Basquiat, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Yayoi Kushama, and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Oval at Benesse House

Rocco Forte Balmoral- Top Choice for Edinburgh

Hotel clock lit red to honor their veterans

Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel is a no brainer for one’s hotel choice in Edinburgh
The stately five star Grand Dame opened in 1903 and has been greeting Queens, Kings, statesmen and celebrities ever since.
Situated by Waverly Station, hotel porters meet guests at the train station, and whisk them from the station hall to the reception desk in the hotel in no time. The award winning hotel is brilliantly managed by Richard Cooke. Mr. Cooke has the hotel spinning like a top. Staff is happy, enthusiastic and completely engaged in providing each guest with a top notch experience. No wish is too difficult to accomplish. The tireless Mr. Cooke seems to be everywhere. The standard starts at the top and it is quite evident this hotel is run beautifully.
Interesting aside- JK Rowlings wrote her last Harry Potter book on premises, and her suite is marked by a purple door. She was a regular guest.

The fabulous Palm Court Tea anyone?

Edinburgh- a Must Visit!

With artifacts found as early as the 1st Century. Edinburgh was established under Scottish rule in 960. To JK Rowling fans, Edinburgh has many structures that draw inspiration in Harry Potter movies. She has a home in Edinburgh, and wrote most of her Harry Potter books in Edinburgh.

Nooks and crannies in the city of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful ancient city filled with clever shops, pubs, churches, charming gothic spires, castles, monuments and loads of amazing restaurants – from Michigan starred to simply good food. We were never disappointed.

Le Meurice Paris

What a welcome!


Opening in 1815 and welcoming Kings and Queens since 1855, Le Meurice is considered one of the most beautiful and opulent hotels in Paris. The decor of every bedroom and suite are unique, many with views of the Eiffel Tower. Located across from the Tuileries, the position is perfect. Philippe Stark recently renovated the public rooms and Bar 228. We found the staff and service to be outstanding.

Alain Ducasse Restaurant. Le Meurice

Lobby Le Meurice

Bar 228 Le Meurice

Hotels We Love In Paris

Peninsula Paris Lobby


Hotels we love in Paris. While there are hundreds of options for hotels in this spectacular city, we wanted to look at the top iconic properties. We aimed for Virtuoso hotels, because Virtuoso standards and amenities give our clients the cream of the crop and the best value with their amenities. Among the multiple Virtuoso choices, our favorites were Le Meurice, Peninsula Paris, Mandarin Oriental, and Shangri La.

Mandarin Oriental Paris

Bar 228 Le Meurice

Paris Still Has The Magic

Louvre by the Seine

Paris still has her magic. Certainly the top romantic destination in the world, Paris never fails to please. Whether one’s focus is art, music, photography, fashion, history, food or wine, Paris is the ultimate. It is indeed a royal city.

Hotel de Sully – Historic monument near the Marais

Palais Royal

A Huge Salute to Africa Inscribed Private Travel

Many thanks to the Africa Inscribed team – especially Dylan Harriss and Bernadette Venter


Thank you Africa Inscribed!
Our Safari was the most memorable experience of Will’s, Lily’s and my life.
The plan went like clockwork. Not one misstep. Dylan, Bernadette and team Africa Inscribed created and planned a spectacular experience from the minute we got off the plane till we got back on.
A big shout out goes to Warren Wright, our private label guide. He was so attuned to the children, they loved him. They learned so much and a huge part of our amazing experience was because of Warren. For a family traveling with children, I heartily recommend Warren as your private label guide.
No words to thank Team Africa Inscribed enough. Treasured memories for a lifetime.

Warren Wright – amazing private guide especially for families with children

Angama Mara- New Glamour on the Masai Mara

Fire pit overlooking the magnificent Masai Mara


Dramatically set on the ridge overlooking the Masai Mara, Angama Mara brings glamour and extraordinary comfort to the vast Park. The Camp is within walking distance to the burial place of Denys Finch Hatton, a fittingly romantic overtone to one’s sense of Out of Africa.
Here you can live it.
The Staff is well prepared to welcome us and tries to accomplish our every request.
Meals and drinks on the vast deck is just sublime. Rooms are huge with glass windows- floor to ceiling -to capture that dramatic view.

Comfortable large rooms that give you a sense of Out of Africa

On the deck the view goes on forever

Dawn view from my tent

East Africa – Ultimate Experience for Kids

Chyulu Hills Kenya


Waking up to a kind voice saying Jambo and bringing hot chocolate, African sunrises and sunsets in that unlimited sky, rain storms rolling across the plains, almost running over a sleeping lion in the tall grass, learning about animal alarm calls when a predator is near, smells of a night fire, adopting orphan elephants, feeding Giraffe from your hand, learning polite words in Swahili, making bows and arrows with a Masai warrior, learning to build a fire from dung, visiting a Masai village, seeing the joy on children’s faces when giving mosquito nets to a school, visiting Karen Blixen’s home, sundowners, hearing the sounds of thousands of wildebeest in the migration, experiencing new food and tastes, the list can go on for days.
Learning and understanding wildlife in their habitat, watching them up closely in their daily activities is the ultimate thrill. There is so much the children expeiienced that cannot be listed. The enrichment was immense and incredibly satisfying to experience. A window in time that will never be recaptured. Traveling with children is priceless.

Wildlife along the way in Kenya

Wildlife sightings were amazing!

Heaven on Earth- Sirikoi, Lewa Downs Conservancy Kenya

Sirikoi Lodge- Heaven on Earth – Lewa Downs Conservancy, Kenya

Sirikoi Lodge -Lewa Conservancy , Kenya

Learning how to play croquet – Sirikoi

View from the tent- lots of elllies.

Beautifully managed by Tom and Nikki Hartley, Sirikoi aims to please. We think it is our favorite Camp. The staff is so warm and welcoming, food is amazing, and the setting is unforgettable. Main dining area is off the Lodge right next to a water hole. So there is always action right in front of your eyes. Decor is impeccable with an organic garden that rivals anything we have seen. All food comes directly from the garden. Sirikoi is a hard place to leave.

Main Lodge, Sirikoi

Singita Sasakwa- Holy Cow!

Singita Sasakwa – Holy Cow! Pride of Tanzania
Situated in the Grumeti concession, Singita’s Sasakwa is uniquely outstanding. With a highly trained staff, along with the most wow decor I have ever seen in a Tanzanian Lodge- Sasakwa is probably one of the top 2 resorts in all of Africa.

Spain! Heaven for Foodies!

Dome at the Westin Palace Madrid


Spain- Foodie Heaven!
I knew Spain has always been a dining destination – with 3 restaurants on the top 10 of the top 50 in the world, but never realized that basic dishes were a cut above. We started our dining focus in Spain with a tapas tour, set up by our fabulous DMC – Madrid & Beyond. Our guide, Carlos, took us to his neighborhood in Madrid and we began our tapas tour as Spaniards do, with a special recipe of vermouth to drink, and olives to sample. We then moved on to different small tapas bars ending in a supermercado in San Anton dedicated to gourmet dining.

Vermouth tasting at Bodegas de Angel Sierra

We tasted simple small dishes with thinly sliced Iberian ham- there is an art to the slicing, olives, cheeses, bread, steak, fresh tomatoes, wine, wine, wine. An incredible experience, I strongly recommend to all that want to get a sense of Spain.
The rest of the trip was focused on Spanish culture with a food focus. We went on to sample a dining range from simple to the highest Michelin starred restaurant, such as Ramon Freixa. Freixa was a 25 course tasting menu with wine pairings. Be prepared for a 3 hour sitting- simply sublime!

First course Ramon Friexa- amazing!


Next blog will be about our favorite restaurants.

Belmond La Residencia- Palma de Mallorca

Belmond La Residencia- Mallorca


Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca. Low key glamour.
On a island full of star hotels, Belmond’s La Residencia is the brightest.
Located in Deia, in the northwest mountainous area of Mallorca, Belmond la Residencia is the ultimate low key luxury destination. With leadership from Ulisses Marrieros, the resort spins like a top. With four restaurant choices, and the village of Deia a walk away, the hotel offers tempting options for all foodies.
Glamorous, classic, Belmond is the ultimate stop on Mallorca.

Sunset La Residence Mallorca

Views of the new Silo Hotel, Cape Town

More views of the fab new Silo Hotel, Cape Town

View from the Silo Roof


Rooftop Bar Silo


Rooftop Pool Silo

Gift Shop -Silo Hotel


Reflection of the Suite’s Chandelier

Silo Hotel Cape Town – Simply Spectacular!

Room 801 Silo Hotel


Finally open, Royal Portfolio’s latest property, the Silo Hotel Capetown is simply spectacular
We knew it would be impressive, but the Silo surpassed all expectations.
It is impeccably decorated in bright colors, and incredible African art. Liz Biden searched the world over, and came back with an smashing collection of art, mirrors, lighting and furnishings.
The ever changing waterfront scene can be viewed from the rooftop bar and floor to ceiling windows in the rooms and throughout the hotel.
Bright, happy, elegant and absolutely the place to be in Cape Town.

Dar Ahlam – Luxurious Setting Next To The Sahara

Formaly a Sultan’s hunting ground, the 19th Century Kasbah, Dar Ahlam, is stunning.
A Relais Chateaux property, Dar Ahlam is as famous for it’s comfort as well as it’s food.
You need at least 3 nights here to fully enjoy the place.
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Stairwell view Dar Ahlam

Stairwell view Dar Ahlam

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Moroccan Desert

Our intrepid group on top of a dune

Our intrepid group on top of a dune

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Our camel guide

Our camel guide

Le Souk Fes

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The markets of Fes are thriving pulsing, filled with energy. Every possible craft, clothing, fruit, flower, meat, vegetable, spice, sweet, one can imagine, is there. Always interesting. image

A Day in Seattle

Spectacular Chihuly Exhibit

Spectacular Chihuly Exhibit

Chihuly  Exhibit

Chihuly Exhibit

Space Needle - a must

Space Needle – a must

Flowers at Pike Place Market

Flowers at Pike Place Market


I started with lunch at Pigalle Place in Pike Place Market. Wonderful French restaurant, highly recommended and worth every bite. Divine. Gwen Hoover at the Four a Seasons Seattle strongly recommended the Chihuly exhibit – a world renowned glass artist and resident of Seattle. I am SO glad I took her suggestion. Anyone that visits Seattle should make it number 1 on their experience list. Other musts are Pike Place Market, the monorail to the Needle- the Chuhuly exhibit is next door and a walk back to the Four Seasons by way of first street. Couldn’t ask for a better day!
Tomorrow I board the Lindblad Sunbird for an excursion to the San Jean Islands. Can’t wait!

Four Seasons Seattle Top Choice for Travelers

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Located on the Seattle Waterfront, one block from Pike a Place Market Four Seasons Seattle is My top choice. Across from the Seattle Museum, in the thick of happening downtown, Four

Pike Place Market Seattle

Pike Place Market Seattle

Seasons is the place! It’s resturant, Goldfinch Tavern was packed. I had the Dungeness Crab with golden beets, and braised Rabbit. Both superb.

London’s Hotels are Spectacular!

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image Corinthia Flowers

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image Doormen at the Amazing Corinthia

image Elegant Hall arrangement -fabulous Rosewood Hotel

image Top of the heap- the legendary Goring.

I had the privilege of staying at the Stafford, Milestone, Cliveden, Corinthia, and Goring. All these hotels were outstanding. Particular characteristics will suit different clients.
Can’t wait to book them. London is all and all one of the best city experiences I have had in a long time.

Stafford London

Tucked away in the heart of historic St James’s, and just minutes from London’s iconic landmarks and vibrant West End, the Stafford London never disappoints. The solicitous staff ensures that guests always insist on returning. The Staffird has an incredible loyal following. Recently renovated, it is a number of townhouses put together. It is the most quiet hotel I have ever experienced. We stayed in the Mews section, on the courtyard. The rooms have a more clean, contemporary feel. Beds were heaven! I slept to 10A the first morning and almost missed breakfast.
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Tracking the Migration in the Serengeti

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

 

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

We have flown to the Serengeti to see a different terrain, and to follow the migration. Serengeti Under Canvas is a true mobile camp- everything is folded up, packed and moved when needed and one would never know it had been there. No fooprint!

Ngorngoro Crater Tanzania -one of the wonders of the world!

Ngorngoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world, about 30 kilometers across. An estimated 25000 large mammals are resident in the crater, including a population of approximately 6000 resident wildebeest,zebra, giraffe, and around 70 lions. Visiting it should be a must on everyone’s list. image

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Silver Sea Galapagos – Home for the Next 8 Days

Silver Sea Galapagos

Silver Sea Galapagos


Silver Sea Galapagos is a relatively new introduction to options for a Galapagos Journey. It is a 50 cabin luxury expedition ship. With two restaurants, the food options are delightful. Of course Silver Sea has the usual unparalleled Butler service. Any wish – within limits- is their command. The staff has been outstanding, another Silver Sea standard. Cabins are large for an expedition ship, the only thing missing are bathtubs. They use zodiacs for forays into the islands and the guides are top notch. The daily schedule is jam packed. You will not miss one bird, iguana or anything that moves. This is NOT roughing it.

St. Regis Beijing

St. Regis Beijing

Host to kings, princes, presidents and CEO’s, the St Regis Beijing lives up to it’s reputation. In a perfect central location on Embassy Row, we could walk to the Silk Market and one of the most luxurious underground malls I have ever seen. Every designer you could possibly think of, was represented. Beijing is the cultural capital of China, and getting to the sites and museums was an easy jump- mostly by car. The city is enormous.

Drama in the Entry – Amanoi, Vietnam

Dramatic entry
Feast for your eyes wherever you turn.

Small details, beautifully placed- Amanoi, Vietnam

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Devil’s in the details.

Yoga Pavillion Amanoi – Vietnam

Yoga Pavillion - Amanoi
Also great for a wedding celebration!!

Corner Dining Amanoi – Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

Corner Dining

Corner Dining

Villa 2 Amanoi- Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

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Villa 2 Amanoi- Vinh Ny Bay , Vietnam

Sea View Villa – Nam Hai Hoi An, Vietnam

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Sea view Villa

Our view from the Nam Hai – Hoi An Vietnam

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Danang Bay

Main Lodge- Nam Hai, Hoi An Vietnam

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Entry building Nam Hai

Nam Hai- Hoi An Vietnam

Pool at Nam Hai
Some of the best food we encountered was in Vietnam. Fresh and vibrant. one of the best restaurants was at the Nam Hai. Near Danang, an elegant, glamorous addition to the middle coast of Vietnam. Gorgeous pool and public areas! Service was wonderful.
Beware if you are not happy with lots of steps. The elegant villa is set as rectangle facing the sea- with a step down from the entry area, a step down beside the bed then another step to the living room. steps are lit but you want to be cautious.
Innovative and beautiful. It is the place to be in Hoi An Vietnam.

Chi Lin Gardens -Hong Kong

Chi Lin Gardens - Hong Kong

We are looking for new sites in Hong Kong and my friend Devin suggested we see Chi Lin Nunnery and Gardens. Just opened a year ago, the gardens are a beautiful depiction of a Tang Dynasty garden and has amazing replicas of Tang Dynasty structures, built in teak wood. A beautiful oasis smack in the middle of Kowloon. If you are in Hong Kong, you should add it to your list.

Another Small Resort Gem- Little Palm Island

Easy jump to paradise

Easy jump to paradise

The flight from Atlanta took an hour and a half. Poof! Before I knew it, I had landed in another bit of paradise. Tropical bungalows, recently updated with a Caribbean Colonial feel- lots of shutters – were a haven. Breezes blowing, palm fronds moving gently in the wind, I couldn’t believe how quickly one could just stop, kick back and relax.

Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce – just like my Sicilian Grandmother’s

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There is no denying that the cuisine of Dubrovnik is heavily influenced by their Italian neighbors across the Adriatic. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of Croatian cuisine. A beautiful influence of Italian mixed with their proximity to the sea makes for a high level of quality and innovative offerings.

Old Town Dubrovnik

Old town Dubrovnik

Perfect place for a special celebrations, family travel or destination weddings. The city lends itself to easy planning. Hotels are accommodating, food is very special and the location is captivating.